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Verbal abuse art project

(44 Posts)
MavisDavis99 Tue 21-Jul-20 17:25:15


I'm working on a project to raise awareness about domestic abuse, having spent 16 years in abusive relationships myself. (Now out, thankfully).
I want to make a piece of art that highlights negative phrases, words and names used by abusers, and also a contrasting piece that uses positive words, phrases and names used by our support networks, including things we tell ourselves, to help us get out, heal and rebuild our lives.
I have lots of material from my own life, but wondered if anyone else would like to contribute anything, so that I can make it a piece that represents a number of women's experiences, not just my own?
Obviously, I wouldn't want anything that could identify anyone as it needs to be totally anonymous due to the nature of the subject.

Examples from my own experience with the abuser include:
Everyone thinks you're a b....
If you don't do it, I'll leave you!
You're crazy
Stupid b....

and on the flip side, from my support network:
You will get through this
Life will get better
I'm here to support you give you an idea.

Happy for responses in the thread or by PM
(hope that's not against the rules)
Language can be censored where necessary, as long as I can work out what it's likely to be.

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
NativeAustralian Tue 21-Jul-20 22:13:43

Some of mine...
Nobody will love you like I do
I've tried to help you,but you're too stagnant/stubborn/proud
All I need is a heartfelt apology
You're a psycho/ schizo
You're a failed parent
You're jealous,bitter and twisted
You'll always be alone
You're a cold,callous bitch
You're an abuser
People who think that you are nice dont really know you
Look at your part in what your friend did
( commit suicide)

kimclark Tue 21-Jul-20 22:19:10

Your mummy is a fucking loser (said to toddlers face who then repeated it)

Mental - there's something actually wrong with your head (said to me 3 weeks post birth)

I only treat you like this because of your behaviour to me

I'll be nice when you're nice to me first.

Sorry I don't have much in the way of positive comments because I don't hear too many of them.

TicTac80 Tue 21-Jul-20 22:26:18

Few of mine:
-you're a state.
-you're fat/stupid/disgusting/an embarrassment etc
-you think they (friends/family) care about you?!
-you're wrong in the head, you're not thinking straight, you're mental.
-they don't care for you like I do.
-if you would only do/be better and try harder, then I wouldn't get angry
-shut up/shush! (when I tried to talk).
-why are you dressing up?! Who the F*ck do you think you are?
-why are you talking to <male friend>, you filthy/disgusting slut/whore
-you think you're better than you really are
-you don't realise the pain you put me through (this would be if I dared to meet up with friends).

What can I say? I was in my late teens/early 20's at the time. In the 3 years, I was with him, I developed a stammer. And I didn't see the abuse coming (like a frog in a cold pan of water which was put onto a fire). He used to really prize people who were educated/driven, but then would put them down if he then dated them (namely because he never did much with his own life).

MavisDavis99 Tue 21-Jul-20 22:54:54

Thank you NativeAustralian, kimclark and TicTac80, I know this is a difficult topic. Reading your messages I'm reminded of some more from my own past which I had forgotten! Sorry to hear what you have endured.

My ex used to put me down in front of my toddler too, and she picked up on and echoed his attitude.

I'm realising my writing on the abuse picture is going to have to be very small and on the positive one the words will probably have to be very big, because as you note, kimclark, there's way more abuse shelled out than there is positivity for many of us.

It's a good point TicTac80 and no doubt very common that we just don't realise it's abuse, especially when we're young, and it slowly escalates. I just thought "oh, this is what marriage is like then" and assumed it was the same for everyone, or that it was my fault that I couldn't make our relationship "work". I had no idea it was abuse until we'd been married 4 years and I saw an agony aunt on breakfast TV. Someone called in who was in a similar situation to me and she told her that what she was experiencing was abuse. It was a shock to me as I didn't think of what I was going through in those terms. Took a long while to sink in and then another couple of years to escape.

I hope you are all safe from your abusers now and on the way to healing.

OP’s posts: |
BrettAndersonscheekbones Tue 21-Jul-20 23:17:50

"you're mad and menopausal"
"You'll never manage without me"
"You need a good beating then we can start from zero"
"You're going to shut up and take what you deserve by way of punishment"
"I don't do violence; I do psychological warfare"
(To the daughter), "tell your mother if she apologises she can come home"

RLEOM Tue 21-Jul-20 23:37:28

You're inadequate, just like your observation result: inadequate.

Why are you still with me, you stupid fuck? Look at you, stupid fuck.

You're going to be a shit mum, look at you.

You're a fucking slag.

Delete all your male friends off Facebook. You don't need guys as friends when you've got me.

- all from the same man.

You deserve so much better.

One day you'll realise you haven't thought about him in a long time.

One day, you'll see him for who he truly is.

You're beautiful, there's loads of nice men out there who will treat you better than he does.

- best friend's advice regarding the above abuser.

NC4Now Tue 21-Jul-20 23:44:31

Are you on your period?

GilbertMarkham Tue 21-Jul-20 23:55:50

You're a 36 yr old spinster!

(A while I to the relationship, I realised spinster is this guy's favourite word. I had a feeling we wouldn't be able to end the relationship without him rolling it out and i was correct. Ironically I was a divorcee a d couldn't actually be a spinster grin, he wasnt going to let that stop him using it though, he used it more than most registrars would).

famousforwrongreason Wed 22-Jul-20 04:48:19

If you won't fuck me I'll find someone else who will.
You're not to every man's taste.
You need to be careful about getting too chunky.
I prefer women with no make up (whilst cheating with and ogling women with mucho make up).
It's all in your head.
She's just a friend.
It was self defence.
You're a slag.
I could rape you now and nobody would ever know.

welliesarefuntowear Wed 22-Jul-20 05:48:30

She's just an old lady who's a friend
You're always going on at me

My experience of passive aggressive gaslighting when he was conducting a sexual relationship with a woman 10 years older than me. That's how he described her. I nearly had a breakdown. If it wasn't for my friends who told me the following

You don't deserve to be treated like this

welliesarefuntowear Wed 22-Jul-20 05:49:45

I'm still recovering

JustBeingMoi Wed 22-Jul-20 07:29:30

I got;

- you're a narcissist
- our daughter will grow up to hate you
- fucking cunt, whore, bitch, dick
- you are a vile human
- you are pathetic, delusional, incapable,
- you have ruined my life
- you're so miserable
- we'll be better off without you
- always told me to fuck off when I spoke.

MavisDavis99 Thu 23-Jul-20 10:20:02

Thank you BrettAndersonscheekbones, RLEOM, NC4Now, GilbertMarkham, famousforwrongreason, welliesarefuntowear, and JustBeingMoi.
I think I'm going to have a to buy a bigger canvas!
Awful things for anyone to be told.
Best wishes to everyone in their journey to recovery.x

OP’s posts: |
HardToDanceWithTheDevilOnYourB Thu 23-Jul-20 10:31:53

You believe your own lies
You can't look after yourself let alone a child
You're selfish
You're disgusting
You're ignorant
You're irrational
You're delusional
You're mental unstable
You're imagining it
You dreamt it
That never happened
You need help
You're a danger to your children and yourself
You should be ashamed of yourself
You're incapable, you can't even do "insert household chore" right.

There was never anything wrong with the way I did things, they just weren't his way of doing it, laundry was a massive thing, he had a really complex system for his clothes he had about 5 different categories of t-shirt, work, casual, fancy, day, clubbing, I never knew which t-shirt went in which category and I would put everything in the "wrong drawers"... he even believed there was only one way to butter toast, yes, you read that right... apparently I butter toast wrong!

Mine is always very careful not to use vulgar profanities, he believes its not abuse if its not explicit.

airo Thu 23-Jul-20 10:55:13

You're too sensitive.
You're too sensitive.

Thank you for doing this OP. It's incredibly brave considering what you've been through. Well done for freeing yourself thanks

Dontbeme Thu 23-Jul-20 11:01:31

Head Case
Not fit for anything
Waste of space
Dirty and not fit to fuck (After I revealed that I had been sexually abused as a child by a family friend, this one broke my heart in ways I never imagined possible as he was the first person I ever disclosed the abuse to)
Mentally unstable and fragile (to his relatives at his dad's funeral)
Too emotional and needy
Cold hearted and feeling less
Over sensitive

HardToDanceWithTheDevilOnYourB Thu 23-Jul-20 11:02:27


You're too sensitive.
You're too sensitive.

Thank you for doing this OP. It's incredibly brave considering what you've been through. Well done for freeing yourself thanks

Oh gosh that's a perfect one airo….
and the...

you need a to get a sense of humor, you need to learn to take a joke

airo Thu 23-Jul-20 11:08:37

@HardToDanceWithTheDevilOnYourB my heart just sped up when I read your two. It made me feel completely insane, like I was doing something wrong. Looks like we may have been with a similar type. The gaslighter.


TicTac80 Thu 23-Jul-20 11:10:13

Ah yes, the gas lighting and constant changing of goal posts in the eternal quest to stop him getting angry, how can I forget all that?

Reading through what others have written and I’m nodding as I remember more

fluffedup Thu 23-Jul-20 11:12:32

That girl over there is laughing at your clothes. (or similar)

When I looked, the girl would not be looking at me. Incredibly, it took ages for me to work out that he was making it up. Even if she had been laughing at me, how would he have known why?

I wish mumsnet had been around then.

fluffedup Thu 23-Jul-20 11:14:38

Or in a pub, when I'd gone to the loo ...

'a girl came over and told me I had the most beautiful eyes in the pub'

Girls kept coming over to him and complimenting him, apparently, whenever I nipped to the loo.

I can't believe I was that stupid. In my defence it was a third of a century ago.

fluffedup Thu 23-Jul-20 11:16:57

And whenever I tried to bring up the subject of his never paying for anything ...

now you've done it! I won't feel comfortable coming round to yours any more

GiveMeStrengthOrAHobby Thu 23-Jul-20 11:21:54

This is interesting.....
What about the non words, the complete silences for nothing apparent, just ignored

The subtle, "you did this, then you said this", when you know full well it didnt happen like that and you end up second guessing yourself

The "i went out last night and pulled, ended up in a hotel with two women...." meaning i am going to fuck whoever i like and you can do sod all about it.

Probably harder to portray, harder to explain the nuances when its seems innocent enough on paper but its the knives in the intonation of the voice. (Apart from the last example that was him just being a complete narcissistic control freak who got off on dragging me down)

As for support network ... i didnt have one at the time but now my oh and i talk about it a lot because we both have come away from abusive relationships. I get a lot of "thats understandable", "don't let them control you", "stay strong"

Needtogetbackinthesack Thu 23-Jul-20 11:33:54

I've been doing a similar thing for myself, I find it quite therapeutic. I heard all the same as above but a few others that haven't been mentioned yet -

You were nothing before me and you'd be nothing without me
You're a princess and go on more holidays than Colleen Rooney (went on a few camping/caravan holidays with the kids to get away from him)
There's no compromise with you, it's your way or the highway and my needs are completely overlooked (after giving uk my entire life for him)
All the other wives... (insert complete lie about what all his mates were 'allowed' to do but he wasn't)
My female colleague thinks I'm fucking stupid for not hiding my whereabouts on WhatsApp so you know I'm still up (while tying to get hold of him in another country because our baby was in hospital and I could see hw was on whatsapp at 3am but ignoring my calls)
Same female colleague thinks I'm a fucking amateur for not turning my phone off when I go out drinking (for same reason as above)

Found out he's a porn addict and showed his parents evidence of many, many thousands of pounds worth of sex cam sites. His dad said well what do you expect, you do sleep in different rooms?? (I made him move to another room after he gave me a black eye) So it's not surprise where he learned to say these things.

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